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Chinese aggression is a conspiracy to change status quo on border: Indian Army Chief

Chinese aggression is a conspiracy to change status quo on border: Indian Army Chief

Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said that Chinese aggression is a "conspiracy to change status quo" and stressed that the sacrifices of those killed in Galwan won't go waste.

Speaking at an event in Delhi on the occasion of Army Day – 15 January, General Naravane referring to the Chinese standoff in Ladakh said: "Nobody can test our patience. Regarding conspiracy to unilaterally change status quo on borders, a befitting reply was given. I want to assure the country that sacrifice of bravehearts of Galwan would not go waste."

Referring to the ongoing tension with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, he said that no one can change the sovereignty or the territorial integrity of the country. "Our forces' morale is very high and we are ready for any eventuality," the Army chief said, adding that India is looking for a resolution through dialogue.

The India and China stand-off has now entered its ninth month as both sides continue with heavy deployment of troops, artillery guns, tanks and armoured vehicles in close proximity. Tensions started with skirmishes in Pangong Lake in May 2020 when the soldiers came to blows on more than one occasion after Indian forces challenged Chinese troops who had crossed the border into India.

On June 15, 2020, Chinese troops attacked Indian soldiers with nail-studded clubs and rocks in the Galwan Valley that left 20 Indian soldiers and numerous Chinese troops dead. China did not make their casualties public despite being asked by the media on several occasions.

The deadlock in Ladakh continues as there has been no progress despite eight rounds of Corps Commander-level talks – the highest level of military dialogue. Separately, there have been two rounds of talks between the Foreign and the Defence ministers of the two countries in Moscow. China has refused to withdraw from Indian territory they occupied around April 2020 leading to stalemate in discussions.

Recognising the valour of those killed in action the Army Chief said: "We will always remember those who have sacrificed their lives. We want to tell their families we will always stand by them."

Referring to Pakistan-sponsored terror, he said 300-400 terrorists are ready in launchpads across the Line of Control (LoC) to infiltrate. He added that there has been a 40 per cent increase in ceasefire violations by Pakistan at the LoC while the security forces have killed more than 200 terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir..